A deeply distressing incident in Florida saw a two-year-old girl losing her life after allegedly being left intentionally in a heated car by her parents, according to law enforcement officials.
The parents, Kathreen Adams, 23, and Christopher McLean, 32, have been apprehended and now face multiple charges. These include child neglect, possession of methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia. Holmes County Sheriff John Tate disclosed during a press conference that further charges are likely to follow.
The tragic episode came to light when emergency services were dispatched to a residence in the Prosperity community within the Florida Panhandle. A distraught woman had dialed 911 around 3:43 p.m. Tuesday. However, her hysteria rendered her incapable of communicating the situation to the operator.
Upon arrival, first responders found a person carrying the unresponsive toddler. The deputy on the scene promptly initiated CPR until medical professionals arrived. Unfortunately, the child was declared deceased shortly thereafter.
Initially, Adams reported that she discovered her daughter unresponsive within their home. However, inconsistencies began to emerge when the child’s temperature was found to be alarmingly high, raising suspicion.
Further probing by investigators led to the shocking revelation that the toddler had been left inside the car for a staggering fourteen hours.
Adams ultimately confessed to leaving work at midnight and retrieving her two children from a relative’s house. Despite the toddler being asleep in the car seat upon their arrival home, Adams, McLean, and the children’s older sibling reportedly entered the house, leaving the younger child in the car.
Adams’ account implied a deliberate decision to leave the toddler in the car overnight. McLean, however, declined to provide any statement or cooperate with authorities.
Sheriff Tate voiced uncertainties about the timeline of events, including the exact moment the parents discovered the girl and the subsequent emergency call. There were also questions concerning the older sibling’s whereabouts during the incident.
A search of the couple’s home revealed the presence of methamphetamine, marijuana, CBD gummies, and drug paraphernalia. Adams admitted to consuming marijuana following their return home.
In a warning to the community, Sheriff Tate indicated that substance abuse, particularly methamphetamine, was a crucial factor contributing to the child’s untimely death.
In the wake of the incident, the couple’s four-year-old child has been taken into protective custody by the Department of Children and Families.